Martha Jane Rogers “Marty” Mandell, 93, passed peacefully in her sleep on Aug. 5. Marty was the daughter of Asa Ross Rogers from Franklin County and Laura Chapman Rogers from Greenbackville.
While fond of her Virginia roots, Marty spent her adult life in North Carolina after attending Virginia Intermont College, Greensboro College and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where she graduated with a BA in Arts and Education and an award-winning talent for painting in oils.
In 1956, Marty purchased her eclectic home on Pine Street in Carrboro where she resided almost continually until her death. From 1965 – 1971 she taught at Orange Junior High School, the first art teacher to be hired by Orange County Schools. For a time she lived near Ellicott City, Maryland, where she boarded horses, operated a riding school and fostered five teenage girls. Upon her return to Carrboro, she worked at UNC, taught adult literacy classes and continued to practice art, including painting, silkscreen and other printing techniques.
Marty enjoyed a love of international travel after college, especially a year spent in Italy, and she credited her tremendous empathy and sense of civic duty to that experience. She actively supported such diverse efforts as the Friends of the Orange County Library, the Mildred Council Community Dinner, Carolina Farm Stewardship Alliance and Friends of Bolin Creek. She was particularly passionate about education, organic farming, alternative energy and protecting the watershed. She was an avid consumer of fiction, non-fiction, crossword puzzles and Tar Heel basketball.
Marty was married to Harold Richard “Dick” Mandell, also an artist, from 1965 to 1969. She is survived by four nieces and nephews: Thomas F Pumphrey (Sue), Katherine P Bailey (Bruce), Laura T DeRusha (Wayne) and William R Pumphrey (Becky). She also leaves behind 15 great nieces and nephews, 10 great grand nieces and nephews, many cousins in Greenbackville and dozens of friends and compatriots whom she deeply cherished.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Katherine Rogers McKinney.
A private memorial service for family and friends will be held at a later date. She will be buried in Ashland, with her parents.